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Has anyone else been feeling distinctly meh lately or is it just me? I find myself blaming the weather a bit too much for someone who lives in the UK, and it’s a poor excuse.
For a multitude of reasons, many that I’ve written about before, I have found it incredibly difficult to shake off the funk this month, which has led to some seriously dark thoughts.
I’ve pondered the state of my mental health, fearful that another breakdown might be on its way.
I’ve questioned whether I’m capable of home educating my children.
I’ve almost pressed the delete button on this blog at least three times.
My internal monologue has been driving me more than a little crazy!
As I’ve not been feeling mentally strong, I have found it impossible to simply smile and say ‘I’m fine’ when asked how I am. In all honesty though it’s not doing me any favours, because no amount of ranting about how tough my life is will make it any easier. I’m hoping that me having a more positive attitude towards it will help my cause.
Yes it’s hard, but I’m pretty sure it would be a lot harder if I fall into a deep dark hole, and given my background, I take these warning signs very seriously.
So what am I doing about it, you might be wondering?
An honest assessment of what my friends and enemies are
Note that I said what and not who, because I figured out who the keepers were a long time ago. I don’t have a single friend in my life that I’m not confident will still be around in ten years time. For those reading this and thinking they might have a few toxic influences lingering, I would highly recommend giving them the chop!
I’ll start with my enemies
Enemy #1: Pressure and Expectations
These two go hand in hand and do no-one any favours. I’ve written before about the pressure we heap onto our own shoulders, and stand by my words. It creeps up though, and since taking responsibility for my children’s education, I have come to realise that I have piled lots of pressure on to myself, and it needs to stop.
Although I know that my expectations are far lower than many others that I know, I’ve also been finding myself a bit too disappointed a bit too often, when things don’t progress as swiftly as I’d like them to. My family is not the same as others, and what they do should not even factor into my thinking. It has been though, much to my detriment.
Enemy #2: Social Media
Like many others I have a love/hate relationship with social networking sites. My biggest beef is the projection of perfection, which I know is a load of old bollocks, but still manages to get to me when I’m feeling low. I deleted the Facebook app and stopped getting notifications ages ago, but I found myself ‘quickly checking’ via their website far too much. I had to actively stop myself from doing so, and once I did I instantly noticed a happiness boost. For over a week now I’ve checked Facebook once or twice a day, and it’s been great.
I’ve worked hard to grow my Mummy Tries social media following, but the fact remains that I do not have the time to actively engage the way bloggers are advised to if they want huge like numbers on Instagram. I do things differently, and anyone that is genuinely interested in my blog will know and respect that. In fact, it’s probably half the reason that they choose to read my blog over the hundreds of thousands of other blogs out there.
Enemy #3: Coffee and Booze
I have been drinking way too much coffee, and coupled with the shouting and screaming that goes on in my house each and every day, I’ve been going to bed with a headache and waking up with one. I only drink strong, freshly brewed coffee, and used to cap my intake at two cups, occasionally having a third. Somewhere along the lines that third cup became standard, and sometimes I’d have a fourth. I was needing two cups first thing in the morning just to feel functional, so have started cutting down this week. My aim is to get to a place where I can happily have just have one cup a day, or even none every now and then. This will be the third attempt to cut down/give up in two years, but coffee is without doubt my biggest weakness so wish me luck.
Although I don’t drink even a fraction of what I used to, it’s time for the mid-week vinos and G&Ts to go. I don’t even want to be drinking every weekend. I can convince myself that a glass or two every few days is fine, but I know that I function so much better without alcohol. I don’t want to say that I’m giving up entirely, because that would be setting unreasonable expectations of myself, but cutting down and only drinking on social occasions would be a good thing.
Now for my friends
Friend #1: Good clean diet and plenty of Exercise
I have written so many times about this before, but eating cleanly is my biggest weapon in the fight against feeling meh. My diet is usually free of all grains (not just gluten), all refined sugar and I only eat raw or home fermented dairy. If I have a few days of eating out, and not being mindful of what I’m eating, boy does it make a negative difference.
I was doing really well with my exercise bike workouts, until they became a trigger for the kids to start kicking off. Subsequently I haven’t done much exercise this month, and am pretty sure it’s helped towards my feelings of meh. As long as they are entertained it’s fine, and if that means they watch an hour of telly on my exercise mornings then so be it.
Friend #2: Good quality supplements
Ever since starting my GAPS journey two years ago, I’ve experimented with various supplementation. Needs change over time, and nowadays the thing that seems to help most with my overall well being is magnesium. The only downside is that it makes me sleep really deeply, which is a killer for the all-too-often night wakings.
I’ve been taking it on and off for months now, and know that it works for me. Everyone is different of course, but I would imagine we could all use a natural boost in some way or other. Ensure you do your research first, and just like you would with food, buy the best quality supplements that you can afford. Cheap supplements are as useless as throwing money down the toilet.
Friend #3: Knowing my limitations
Finally, and perhaps most importantly long term, I absolutely have to have faith that things will fall into place. After last years Brit Mums fiasco I started accepting that there would be lots that I can’t do because of the kids being so young. Rather than feel resentful, I felt that this is exactly how it should be, but when I’m feeling low it feels that I’m missing out.
The sensible part of my brain knows that I’m not, and that blogging will always be here, but the children won’t be this little for much longer. I would be absolutely gutted if I looked back on these days and realised that I was so hell bent on ‘being successful’ that I missed out on their childhood. Plus, hellloooooo, how ironic would that be given the topic of Become the Best You?
I made a big decision at the start of the year to step away from the blog to create space for home ed, and also free up most of my ‘spare writing time’ for getting my second book written. I’m currently in possession of half of a first draft, which wouldn’t have happened if I was blogging every day, joining in with linkies, commenting on tonnes of other blogs, etc.
I’ve known for a long time that cathartic writing helps me immensely with processing my life, and rather than over-share every detail here (which I might live to regret) I’ve used it to write a fictional novel. I blog when I want, and when it suits me, and I’m so much happier for it.
Ultimately I’m saying a big huge SCREW YOU to the supposed rule book, and I’m making my own rules!